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Monday, September 8, 2014

Rutgers' schedule sets up nicely for Quentin Gause, starting with Penn State

(AP file photo)
By Tyler Barto
Twitter: @Tyler_Barto

PISCATAWAY — Quentin Gause might not have played as much as he wanted to in Rutgers' season opener against Washington State, but the 6-foot-1, 220-pounder should be instrumental as Rutgers begins its Big Ten schedule.

Gause, Rutgers' SAM linebacker, played briefly against Wazzu as Rutgers opted mostly for an extra safety. He said before the opener that his pass coverage is an underrated part of his game.

“Yeah, I think it is," he said. "I really had to work on it since I’ve been here. I feel that I am a great cover linebacker and I can definitely compete.”

It's uncertain how much his role will change Saturday night when Penn State arrives for Rutgers' Big Ten opener.

Despite Christian Hackenberg's record-setting 454 pass yards against Central Florida, Penn State head coach James Franklin is dead set on developing the run game

That suits Gause, who has arguably the defense's best run instincts. In his only start last season against run-first Arkansas, he led the team with three tackles for loss.

Approaching on Rutgers' schedule: run-dependent Navy, a Tulane team breaking in a redshirt freshman quarterback and, farther down the road, Heisman candidate Ameer Abdullah of Nebraska.

“I think the type of build I have is perfect for the Big Ten," Gause said. "The Big Ten has a lot of run-heavy teams. That’s perfect for my type of play. When they pass, I can definitely cover, too."

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